The Impact of Safer Breastfeeding Practices on Postnatal HIV-1 Transmission in Zimbabwe
August 10, 2007
The authors "assessed the association between exposure to an educational intervention that emphasized safer breastfeeding practices and postnatal HIV transmission" among a group of 437 HIV-positive mothers in Zimbabwe.
The women were tested for HIV and were encouraged, but not required, to learn their status. Of the women, 365 did not know their infection status. A questionnaire was administered to assess intervention exposure; postnatal HIV transmission was estimated using Turnbull methods; and the association between intervention exposure and postnatal HIV transmission was assessed using multivariate Cox proportional hazard models.
The researchers found a cumulative postnatal HIV transmission rate of 8.2 percent. Each additional intervention contact was associated with a 38 percent reduction in postnatal HIV transmission. Compared to HIV-positive mothers who had no exposure, those exposed to both print and video materials were found to be 79 percent less likely to infect their babies. Results were similar for mothers who did not know their HIV status.
"The promotion of exclusive breastfeeding has the potential to reduce postnatal HIV transmission among women who do not know their HIV status, and child survival and HIV prevention programs should support this practice," the researchers concluded.
American Journal of Public Health
07.2007; Vol. 97; No. 7: P. 1249-1254; Ellen G. Piwoz, ScD; Jean H. Humphrey, ScD; Naume V. Tavengwa, MSW; Peter J. Iliff, MRCPCH; Edmore T. Marinda, MSc; Clare D. Zunguza, BSc; Kusum J. Nathoo, FRCP; Kuda Mutasa, BSc; Lawrence H. Moulton, PhD; Brian J. Ward, MD